Florida [US], March 30 (ANI): Former US President Donald Trump on Monday went on a tirade against Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, two of his former top medical advisers on the COVID-19 pandemic, excoriating their decision-making during his administration on the day after a news outlet aired previews of comments by the top government health experts.
According to The Hill, the former President issued a statement in which he argued that he ignored both Fauci and Birx while in office as a benefit to the country and boasted that he was responsible for getting vaccines rapidly developed and approved.
"Based on their interviews, I felt it was time to speak up about Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx, two self-promoters trying to reinvent history to cover for their bad instincts and faulty recommendations, which I fortunately almost always overturned," Trump said in a statement dated Monday.
"They had bad policy decisions that would have left our country open to China and others, closed to reopening our economy, and years away from an approved vaccine--putting millions of lives at risk," he added.
Trump also mocked Fauci for his wayward first pitch at the Washington Nationals game last year and labelled him the "king of 'flip-flops,'" citing his changing guidance as experts learned more about the pandemic. He saved his sharpest criticisms for Birx, who has in recent weeks given interviews in which she has expressed regret for how she handled her role as head of the White House coronavirus task force.
"Dr. Birx is a proven liar with very little credibility left," Trump said, claiming that Fauci would talk badly about her behind her back.
"The States who followed her lead, like California, had worse outcomes on Covid, and ruined the lives of countless children because they couldn't go to school, ruined many businesses, and an untold number of Americans who were killed by the lockdowns themselves... Dr. Birx was a terrible medical advisor, which is why I seldom followed her advice," Trump added.
He also swiped at Birx for traveling for Thanksgiving to see her family despite emphasizing guidance to avoid nonessential travel. Trump delivered the criticism despite traveling frequently for campaign events throughout the pandemic, including holding a host of largely maskless rallies in the weeks leading up to the election.
The Hill reported that during her interview with CNN, Birx said that the first 100,000 deaths in the U.S. from the virus were difficult to prevent due to the fast-moving nature of the pandemic. But she argued that had the Trump administration acted more decisively, the rest of the deaths "could have been mitigated or decreased substantially." More than 545,000 people have died from the virus in the United States.
Fauci, who also participated in the CNN special, has long been a top target of the former president dating back to when Trump was in office. Fauci regularly pushed back against Trump's false claims about treatments for the virus and the severity of the pandemic.
Fauci has acknowledged feeling free to speak his mind and be honest about the pandemic since President Joe Biden took office. (ANI)